The Nation

TAKEOVER

PTT Chemical mum on plans to take over Indonesian operator

PTT Chemical has declined to confirm a news report that it is purchasing 23 per cent of Indonesia's PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk from Temasek Holdings, Singapore's investment arm.

The report early this week said Temasek is divesting its entire stake in Indonesia's sole cracker operator to raise as much as US$400 million (Bt12 billion). The report also cited PTTCH and Siam Cement Group from Thailand and South Korea's Honam Petrochemical as some of investors showing interest in the cracker with annual capacity of 520,000 tonnes.Though refusing to affirm the report, Veerasak Kositpaisal, president and chief executive officer of PTTCH, admitted that Indonesia is one of the company's targeted markets. Indonesia is the largest market in this region with a population of over 200 million. Besides, the supply of plastic and petrochemical products is lower than market demand, so there is an opportunity for PTTCH to expand its business and market in that country, he said. PTTCH will also focus on Vietnam and the Philippines. By sales, Indonesia would be in-between the two countries. These markets show one thing in common - lower supplies of plastic and petrochemical products compared with market demand. PTTCH is in the process of merging with PTT Aromatics and Refining. Veerasak has said the merged company, PTT Global Chemical, will invest more overseas. Since Asean would become a single market by 2015, the company had to think deliberately about whether it was worthwhile to invest in other Asean countries if it wants to expand in this region, he added.


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